Google Claims Chrome Update Speeds Up Reload Time

Google released Chrome 56, the latest version of the popular web browser today with a strong promise of faster performance. The company even pegged a number to this claim, suggesting "changes to page reload behavior" will result in refreshes that are 28 percent faster.

Image: Minerva Studio / Shutterstock, Inc.

The promise came in a post on the blog for Chromium, the open source browser behind Chrome itself, written by software engineer Takashi Toyoshima, the self-dubbed "Reloader Sensei." Toyoshima precedes the claim by talking about latency on mobile devices, but doesn't provide any specificity about if it's limited to specific flavors of Chrome.

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Unfortunately we found no such benefit when we timed the reload speeds on three different web pages from popular websites. After reloading the sites on the same Windows 7 computer on Chrome 55 and then on Chrome 56, two out of the three pages we tested took more time to reload, to the degree of 6 percent and 34 percent.

The one page that did sport a better time after the upgrade to version 56 only shaved 7 percent off its time. Toyoshima claims Chrome will reload pages faster because of a "simplified reload behavior" and his numbers may be based on wider testing than what we did, but his post doesn't show that work.

Either way, Chrome will update itself to version 56 the next time you restart it, so it's not like you can keep version 55. To manually make the jump, click the three-dots icon in the menu bar, select Settings, click About, and click Relaunch when the download completes.

Does Chrome reload pages faster for you after updating to version 56? Let us know in the comments.

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